Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, his successor Gyalwang Karmapa along with other lamas and scholars will attend a three-day International conference on ‘Buddhist Heritage’ organised by Gujarat government from January 15 -17 at M. S. University, Vadodara.

Other famous personalities who will be present at the conference include Bhutan minister Lonopyo Pashi Zimba, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P. K. Dhumal.

“For the first time in the country, such a mega conference on Buddhism is being held where eminent scholars, historians and spiritual leaders will be present,” Gujarat Tourism Minister Jaynarayan Vyas told newsmen here.

Over 180 research papers concerning history, philosophy and culture of Buddhism and various aspects related to it will be presented in the conference by scholars from 45 countries, he said.

Mr. Vyas said that Gujarat was among the regions where Buddhism flourished since the days of Ashoka and Maurya empire and has a very rich heritage of Buddhist destinations like Junagadh, Vadnagar, Talaja caves, Khambalida, Devnimori where monasteries and other relics have been excavated.

Meanwhile, the cascade in which Buddha’s ashes were found during excavation at Devni Mori site will be displayed for the first time at the conference.

Talking to PTI, Ambika Patel from the department of Archaelogy and Ancient history of the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda said “ R N Mehta, the then head of the department and his colleague S. N. Chaudhary had excavated the site from Devni Mori near Shamlaji in north Gujarat.”

“ The department has reconstructed Stupa structure to be displayed at the conference”, Ms. Patel said adding “it is based on the material evidence which was available from the excavation site.”

She said the model of stupa structure has been reconstructed with all its original features.

Ms. Patel further said, “a cross section of model stupa structure will also be displayed which will help understand the exact location in the stupa from where the cascade containing lord buddha’s ashes was excavated.”